I recently hosted an afternoon tea al fresco, on my screened-in porch, and wanted to create a homemade favor for my guests. After all, they had agreed to be my test audience for a talk I am soon to give on afternoon tea etiquette. Because I love upcycling — giving new life to something that would otherwise be trash — I had fun digging through my fabric remnants and button jar to find most of the materials I needed for a four-pocket tea wallet. A quick stop at the craft store for a bit of interfacing and decorative elastic trim, and I was ready to begin.
Sewing Our Memories Into Gifts
It’s true, I’m a sentimental bird. This is another unexpected benefit of eco-friendly crafting: threading your past into your future. Choosing spare buttons that had come with dresses and suits from my high school days and first jobs, I thought how, back then, I had no idea I would one day have this beautiful group of vivacious, authentic and loving women as close friends. Using remnants from early homemaking projects 15 years ago, I felt the passage of time, and of my young mother years. How thankful I am now for the life that I was building then.
What You’ll Need to Make A Tea Wallet
You don’t need much to make this 4-pocket tea wallet with button closure, especially if you already sew. You’ll see I switched out the recommended hair elastic for decorative elastic trim to dress it up a bit. My step-by-step process follows in pictures, but first you may appreciate watching the whole project come together in this video by Sewing Time with Sarah (thank you, Sarah!).
- 4 Pieces of Fabric, sized 7 1/2″ x 5″ – Get creative with your color scheme, one piece is for the outside, one for the lining, and two for the two pockets
- 2 Pieces of Medium Weight Interfacing, sized 7″ x 4 1/2″
- 1 Piece Decorative Elastic Trim, 5″ long – This looks prettier than the hair elastic used in the demo
- 1 Button
- Marker or Chalk Pencil
- Card Stock or Manila Folder
- Sewing Machine
- Pins or Fabric Clips
- Spool of Thread — Choose a complementary color
Step-by-Step Pictured Instructions: How to Make A Tea Wallet
Patience Rewarded: Time to Fill Your Tea Wallet
Creating 8 tea wallets for my guests took me about 6 hours, during which I was reminded that it pays to take the time to be precise in your measurements and exercise plenty of patience when you sew! Of course, the best part is snipping off the last hanging thread, and getting busy stuffing your tea wallet with surprises that will delight your tea friends. I chose a variety of individually packaged tea bags, a laminated tea brewing guide from Tea Hippie, and single use packets of sugar or honey. What would you carry in your tea wallet?